The Los Alamos Board of Public Utilities met Wednesday 3/21/2012 to discuss, and, in some cases decide upon, the following topics.
March 2012 Topics
A. San Juan Generating Station Issues
Following a closed session to discuss issues relevant to the San Juan generating station, the Board approved the following:
1. Settlement Agreement for the Sierra Club v. San Juan Coal Co., BHP Billiton, PNM and PNM Resources, Inc., No. 1:10-cv-00332 (D.N.M.)– Steve Cummins
2. Incorporated County of Los Alamos Resolution No. 12-04. A Resolution Supporting NM Proposed State Implementation Plan for the San Juan Generating Station Requiring Selective Catalytic Reduction Technology and to Communicate to the NM Congressional Delegation a Request to Encourage the EPA to Issue a Stay of Enforcement Proceedings While Courts Pursue a Review of the EPA’s Best Available Reduction Technology Options to Reduce Regional Haze from the San Juan Generating Station Operations. – Steve Cummins
3. San Juan Reclamation Funding Assurance – Steve Cummins
The Los Alamos Dept. of Public Utilities owns 7 percent of Unit 4 at the San Juan Generating Station producing roughly 36 megawatts per year on behalf of Los Alamos County ratepayers, including Los Alamos National Lab. There are 8 other owners of the SJGS including the largest, PNM. Learn more about the Sierra Club settlement at http://www.pnm.com/news/2012/0328_sierra_club_settlement.htm
B. Conservation Advisory Group Recommendations and Baseline Update – Christine Chavez
The continuing work of the Conservation Advisory Group was presented and discussed. The Advisory Group members each focus on discrete areas, to develop and validate meaningful conservation goals for the community, based on data driven baseline data. Members are as follows:
2011 Conservation Advisory Group listed with name, organization, and focus area:
Megan Lee, LAPS, LAPS
Rebecca Stradling, Homeowner‐White Rock, Residential
Jeff Humpton, LAC Parks, Parks
Tom Nagawieki, LAC Environmental Services, Municipal
Mike Steinzig, Homeowner‐Los Alamos, Residential
Steve Watts, Los Alamos Co‐op, Commercial/Businesses
Suzie Havemann, Realtor, Residential
Robert Gibson, Homeowner‐Los Alamos, Overall goals/baselines
Selected highlights from early, draft recommendations include:
• Reduce natural gas use by at least 2% per year (adjusted for annual temperature variations)
• Reduce consumption of coal produced electricity by at least 3% per year
• System goal reduction of 12% for water as identified in our 40‐year water plan over the next 40 Years
• Provide quantifiable conservation targets for customers home type
• Increase compliance and awareness of Water Rule W‐8
• Provide a 510 year consumption history for customers for gas, electricity and water consumption online and on the paper bill
• Give customers the choice of enrolling in the online billing process
• Highlighting xeric yards in the community
• Use consistent data for the county’s sustainability plan and the utility conservation plan and emphasize overlapping efforts as way for the County to Lead by Example
• Educate park staff on new irrigation system installation and retrofits
• Install ET stations or moisture sensors on all new systems
• Continue to develop baseline data as follows:
o Baseline time period 2006‐2010
o Baseline Categories: Residential, Multi‐family, Commercial, Municipal, Educational, Total Production
Please learn more about the complete draft of recommendations on pages 23-29 of the March Agenda document at, http://www.losalamosnm.us/gov/bcc/utilitiesboard/Documents/BPU_Agenda_03-21-12.pdf
C. Date Change for Regular April Board of Public Utilities Meeting. – John Arrowsmith
Next month’s Board meeting will occur on the third Thursday of the month 4/19 (rather than Wednesday) due to Los Alamos County budget hearings.
D. Approval of Budget for Fiscal Years 2013-2014. – Janet Bettinger
• Budget highlights and specific issues were discussed, and the Board approved the 2013-21014 budget. Selected highlights include:
• Interdepartmental charges allocated to the Department from the general fund have increased by approximately $1 million for fiscal year 2013. Approximately $330 thousand of this increase is directly attributable to depreciation for the Pajarito Cliffs site and temporary office space rental at Central Park Square.
• Utilities construction costs associated with the rebuild of NM 502 from Airport Road to Knecht
Street are approximately $4.5 million in fiscal year 2014. The State/County budget for the road work is approximately $5 million.
• Estimates for salary increases of 3.5% and 3.0% has been included for fiscal years 2013 and 2014, in concurrence with Los Alamos County guidance
• The Department has also budgeted for four Engineering interns. These are summer-only positions with which we hope to introduce college students to the utility business, plus get some assistance during the busy construction season with approximately $42 thousand has been budgeted for this purpose.
• The Los Alamos County Charter requires that a management audit be performed every five years. The previous audit was completed in 2009. $100 thousand will be budgeted in 2014.
• Funds of $100,000 are budgeted for consulting services to assist in the preparation of rate studies for all utilities. One specific study goal is the computation of a rate
for service to Bandelier National Monument, as well as a potential gas rate reduction should commodity prices remain low.
E. Award of Bid No. 2012-20 for the Purpose of the Pajarito Booster 1,2,3 Electrical Improvements Project to Freeman Electric, Inc. in the Amount of $449,674.00, for a Total Project Budget of $494,674.00, plus Applicable Gross Receipts Tax. – James Alarid
The existing electrical control equipment at all three of these potable water booster stations (Pajarito Booster Station 1,2,3) is old and antiquated. Replacement parts are no longer available on the market. This project will replace all old electrical equipment, controls, wiring, etc with all new equipment. Disruption of water service is not anticipated. Extra care will be applied during the high demand period between 1 May and 31 July.
F. Award of Bid No. 2012-21 for the Purpose of the East Road Gas Replacement and Reinforcement Project with K.R. Swerdfeger Construction Inc. in the Amount of $473,560.00, for a Total Project Budget of $584,594.00 plus Applicable Gross Receipts Tax – James Alarid
This project will see installation of 3,150 feet of 8" HDPE replacement gas pipe and 2,980 feet of 6" MDPE reinforcement gas pipe in a joint trench on East Road from the valve West of Arroyo Lane to East of Airport Rd. and the demolition of the existing old East Border Station building and removal of above ground piping. The replacement 8" HDPE gas pipe will replace existing 8" steel gas line, which is badly corroded to such an extent that a section had to be taken out of service for safety because of the numerous corrosion leaks. The reinforcement 6" MDPE pipe will provide future capacity and allow the future elimination of several antiquated gas regulator stations when the 6" gas line is extended during the future NMDOT 502 Project. A pre-bid conference was held February 15, 2012. The County received 4 bids for the project.
G. Award of Bid No. 2012-26 for the Purpose of the Pueblo Canyon Sewer Main Replacement Project to Saigon Construction in the Amount of $73,619.00, for a Total Project Budget of $92,024.00, plus Applicable Gross Receipts Tax – James Alarid
The existing sewer main pipe in this location is a convoluted series of steel and ductile iron pipes and pipe bends located immediately above the steep drop into Pueblo Canyon in the vicinity of the old abandoned and demolished Pueblo Wastewater Treatment Plant. The steep drop causes hydrogen sulfide gas to release into the pipe line and rise in the pipe drop. The existing steel pipe at the top of this rise has, in the past, corroded through and been temporarily patched with PVC pipe. Furthermore, this section of pipe has a 12 inch by 10 inch reducer that could potentially catch an object bigger than 12 inches but smaller than 10 inches and cause a major backup problem on this main line that serves a significant portion of the Los Alamos area. The Base Bid is for complete removal of all existing steel pipe and full replacement with epoxy coated ductile iron pipe. The convoluted series of bends will be eliminated. A new manhole at the pipe size change will provide better security on the potential backup problem. All interior manhole surfaces will be coated with an H2S protective coating. A rock filled gabion structure will be constructed adjacent to the new manhole for erosion protection and to provide safe and efficient access to the new manhole ring and cover.
H. Award of Bid No. 2012-27 for the Purpose of the Venado and El Conejo Sewer Main Replacement Project, to TLC Plumbing & Utility, in the Amount of $69,005.00, for a
Total Project Budget of $86,255.00, plus Applicable Gross Receipts Tax – James Alarid
The existing sewer main pipe in this location is a left over old portion of a sewer siphon. The existing pipe is a confusing set of clay and steel of various size (4 inch through 8 inch). An old
left over overflow structure also exists in this vicinity and this overflow has functioned to where raw wastewater has discharged into the canyon between Venado and El Conejo causing an environmental health concern. The existing pipe is located in an easement that runs across private property between two properties’ side yard line and across a third property back corner. The Base Bid is for complete removal of all existing pipe between two existing manholes and
full replacement with new 8 inch diameter PVC SDR-35 sewer pipe. The left over overflow structure and piping will be eliminated. The new sewer main shall have a smooth and constant slope between the two existing manholes replacing the vertical bend at the existing overflow structure.
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About the DPU
The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) operates the county-owned electric, gas, water & wastewater systems under the jurisdiction of the Board of Public Utilities. The DPU also hosts and operates the 311Customer Care Center for all manner of utility and county-wide information, service, and transactional activities.
The DPU is funded by rates paid for electric, gas, water and wastewater services and auxiliary fees, and has provided the community with these services for more than 40 years. Established under Article V of the 1968 Charter for the Incorporated County of Los Alamos, the DPU provides payments to Los Alamos County in lieu of the franchise fees and taxes that would normally be assessed against a privately-owned utility. The unique advantages of a public utility include customer control through local rule; insulation from short-term political cycles through long-term, stable Board governance; and excellent rates.
Visit the Board of Public Utilities website for upcoming meetings' agendas and agenda packets, and for previous meeting's minutes and agenda packets.
Los Alamos Dept. of Public Utilities
170 Central Park Square, Los Alamos, NM 87544
311 or 505.662.8333 | www.losalamosnm.us/utilities
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